Greenville NC + St. Paul's Episcopal Church
|Date Posted||December 19, 2018|
East Carolina (Matthew Stockard & Hannah Hilterbrand)
|Compensation||$108,000 (Negotiable Total Pensionable Compensation)|
|Communicants in Good Standing||528|
|Average Sunday Attendance||216|
|Child Population in Church School||73|
|Adult Population in Church School||60|
|Teacher Population in Church School||21|
St. Paul’s has many different worship services with a variety of liturgical styles. On Sundays we have three services at 8:00, 10:30 and 5:00. The early 8 am service is held in the more intimate chapel and is Rite 2 without music. The 10:30 service takes place in the main church with full choir including choral scholars, often supplemented by our children’s choirs, recorder consort and instrumental ensembles. One of the transepts is set up for children and families. Held during the academic year, our Sunday 5:00 service generally follows an Evensong format, with full choir Choral Evensong once a month; others being a variety of instrumental styles often provided by students from our ECU School of Music. During the week we have a more interactive and intimate 5:30 service each Wednesday using Rite 2 followed by a congregational supper in the parish hall during the academic year. Other services include weekly and monthly morning and afternoon prayer gatherings in several of our local retirement communities as well as regular visits by lay Eucharistic ministers to our homebound members. We also collaborate with other faith-based institutions in our area for special services.
At the November 2014 Ordination and Consecration of The Reverend Robert Skirving as the Eighth Bishop of the Diocese of East Carolina. St. Paul’s and the Greenville community welcomed Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori, and 20 Bishops representing Episcopal dioceses from across North and Central America. Now Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Bishop Michael Curry spoke to the nearly 1300 gathered worshippers, preaching that God’s mission of humanity is to tell people how loved they are! The weekend was organized and carried out by the Diocesan Transition Committee, which included a St. Paul’s parishioner as event Chair, parish leaders and clergy facilitating ecumenical and interfaith activities, and our organist/choirmaster and choir members among participating musicians. Activities included a number of events which glorified God, celebrating the Episcopal Church’s traditions, liturgy, music, and ministries. Those events spotlighted some of the key roles St. Paul’s members, clergy, and staff play in nearly every aspect East Carolina’s Diocesan life.
We are intentional about making our ministries known. Communication is critical to this task. Internal ministry opportunities are highlighted in regular publications (TWASP, TMASP, Good To Know…). Electronic versions are sent to every member for whom we have an active email address. Information is always accessible on the website. The Vestry maintains formal liaison relationships with our four major ministry categories and a Vestry member always highlights a monthly ministry opportunity at each service. After the service the congregation moves to a large outdoor gathering space we call the Garth, additional information and participation signups are offered. When prospective volunteers seem reluctant to join, we are never shy about tapping people on the shoulder and issuing personal invitations to get them involved. We maintain an updated listing of all ministries in our Parish Annual Report, with a description of the ministry, participation opportunities, and leader contact. For ministries involving people in the larger community, we use proven communication, advertising, marketing and social media to reach out to those we seek to engage and serve.
St. Pauls has numerous nurturing and spiritual activities. Those activities geared toward families and youth include: Campus ministries, EYC, Mothers Raising Children, youth involvement in Kanuga and mission work, Sunday school programs and Mothers Launching Children. Intergenerational programs include: Lay Eucharistic Ministers, Wednesday night suppers, Prayer Shawl Ministry, Friday Men’s Group, Hosts and Helpers (food support for events), Helping Hands (support for members who need a handyman/woman at home), Newcomer activities, Pastoral visitation, appreciation committee, and many musical events held in the church.
We partner with St. Timothy’s Episcopal and Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in offering The Well campus ministry. Our Sanctuary provides an ideal performance space to our entire community. Members take leadership roles in the Diocese and Deanery programs, the National Church, and the Episcopal Relief Fund. We also provide space for AA and NA meetings. Our parish has taken a leadership role in the wider community to address social justice issues. Our Wednesday evening service and suppers are open to all. We sponsor interfaith services, Christmas Homes Tour and Bazaar, Angel Tree, Blessing of the Animals, services at nursing homes, and VBS. We have a robust food pantry serving 1200 clients per month, participate in Backpack Buddies in a local school, Meals on Wheels, and migrant farmworker outreach.
The best example of a new and thriving ministry at St. Paul’s is the Stone Soup Ministry. Stone Soup is a day when we sell soup and pottery to the entire community. Our parish hall is converted into a full service restaurant with hundreds of people enjoying soup from over a dozen local restaurants. Beautiful pottery is also sold, donated by the East Carolina University pottery studio. All of the proceeds go to support the St. Paul’s Food Pantry and other related ministries. Over $30,000.00 was raised last year in only it’s fifth year of existence. Stone Soup was started by a group of friends, mostly women from St. Paul’s, but also including some friends from the community. They were inspired by the story of Stone Soup and what can happen when a community comes together. When we work together we realize our ultimate potential, and we become the body of Christ.
Greenville is a growing city of 92,156 residents as of 2017, and it is about ninety miles from the North Carolina coast and eighty miles from the state capital Raleigh. It is home to East Carolina University, a campus of 28,000 students which afford outstanding intellectual, cultural and athletic programs to the region. East Carolina University includes a medical school focusing on training primary care physicians, a dental school, a nursing school and many programs in allied health professions. Greenville is home to Vidant Health and is the medical center for Eastern North Carolina. Pitt Community College, just south of Greenville, enrolls about 20,000 full and part-time students. Greenville has many fine public and private schools. A cultural center for the region, Greenville is home to art museums and galleries, community theatres and a wide variety of excellent music and dance programs. It has many fine restaurants and a number of craft breweries. Greenville has an active convention center and very good hotels and motels. In additions to the usual Christian denominations, Greenville has a synagogue, Mosque, and Hindu Temple.
The centerpiece of stewardship at St. Paul’s is the Annual Commitment Campaign, during which parishioners submit the amount of their pledge of financial support for the following year’s operating budget. For the past three years the vestry has participated by calling parishioners who have not pledged to politely remind them that the campaign is ongoing and to see if they have questions or needs. (In 2017, the total amount pledged exceeded the goal for the upcoming 2018 year.) Our outreach programs and guilds offer the important gifts of time and talent, thereby providing various services to our parish and community at large. Individual donations to our legacy fund help underwrite our capital improvement projects. In addition, St. Paul’s partners with ECU, particularly with the School of Music, in offering a quality student performance venue and organ rehearsal space.
Our future depends on what we do today. Our most important current project is finding a new rector. We are engaging in a process of careful discernment, prayerfully hoping to find a new leader who can help us become the church of the future. We are committed to young people and to helping them grow into active believers in Jesus Christ. We offer Sunday school programs for all ages, EYC youth group for middle school and high schoolers, The Well campus ministry for college students, youth acolytes, youth lectors, children’s choirs, a group for mothers with young children, and many other opportunities for young people to get involved and to be supported. We also recognize the importance of pastoral care. We hope to find clergy who make pastoral care and personal visits a priority. We also hope to revive our Stephen’s Ministry Program, helping us to meet the changing personal needs of our community. We also hope to grow our Eucharistic Visitors program so that more of our St. Paul’s family can share in the Eucharist. Addressing physical needs of our campus infrastructure will be vital to our future at St. Paul’s. Making the whole campus accessible and more usable, especially for disabled people, the elderly and young families.
Even with the engagement of churches and civic organizations Greenville continues to experience issues of food scarcity, homelessness, and poverty. Also, like many communities across the country, we are plagued by drug abuse including the opioid epidemic. The drug problems are prevalent both within the university student population and the community at large. The growth of ECU and the resurgence of downtown Greenville have led to growing pains within the community. The unprecedented growth of the city has also resulted in the necessity of infrastructure rebuilding including underground city utilities and other major projects.
St. Paul’s experienced a period of significant change and some difficult transitions from 2000–2015. The primary worship space was moved from a small but beloved sanctuary (now known as the Chapel) to a much larger, cathedral-like space that houses a $2M organ. This change, while exciting to many, was not a positive one for some, who had concern about extended financial commitment that it caused and preferred the more intimate setting of the Chapel. There was also a change in the clergy leadership beginning in 2003, with the retirement of a long-term rector, the ensuing search, interim rector, and new rector who was named in 2005. Change can be difficult, and our parish family weathered some rough seas in that regard. As one might expect, the financial crisis of 2007–2008 negatively impacted the church’s financial profile, and consequently, its budget. However, the strong bonds of Christian love and friendship that form the most important foundation of our parish have prevailed and, along with some generous endowments and the strong fiduciary responsibility of the vestry, St. Paul’s is on solid ground spiritually and financially.
Change is constant, and we have experienced two recent changes that stand out as presenting challenges. The first is our responding to changes in social mores (e.g., same sex marriage) and the focus we maintained on our embracing inclusiveness. We learned about the importance and value of communication, kindness, and patience as we established systems to address the needs of all. Second, we changed our church services schedule from three to two services. We had a 7:30 am quiet, reflective prayerful service in the Chapel followed by a 9:00am family/children’s service and then, a 10:30 am traditional, music service. Because of the need to maintain services and programs for a church our size, we changed the 7:30 am service to 8:00am and eliminated the family/children’s service at 9:00am, re-established our adult Christian education program at 9:15am, and kept the 10:30am service as it was. Some parishioners still talk about the change of time of the first service and the loss of the second. We learned that some changes do not present a perfect solution and still seek solutions to make families/children to feel included in the 10:30am service.
When we think of the most important key quality of a priest who partners in leadership with this community as Rector, we hope that this person will embrace and help us embrace our mission — "To know Christ and make him known."
In addition, we think these words and phrases describe gifts and skills useful to the future clergy leaders of this community:
•Guided by the love of God •Pastoral •Honest and approachable; loving and caring demeanor •Skilled teacher of the Scripture •Good communicator (listener as well as speaker) •Thoughtful, intelligent sermons that serve to uplift as well as challenge us •Interested in developing programs to attract membership of new families and youth •Open minded and can work with others on new ideas and willing to take risks •Someone who inspires community service •Someone who can help develop relationships with local Universities (East Carolina University and Pitt Community College) •Understands financial realities and is fiscally responsible •Strong leader with organizational skills •Energetic and enthusiastic about the future of St. Paul’s •Good sense of humor
We invite you to learn more about our community by visiting our parish website:
Priests who would like to express their interest in participating in the discernment of the next Rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Greenville NC in the Diocese of East Carolina need to complete the entire brief survey to be found at this link (this will take about 10 minutes):
You do not need to send additional materials at this time.
Persons who complete the survey at this link will be contacted and informed of next steps in the coming weeks.
The position will receive names through February 10 2019.